Why Rachel Lindsay Won't Give an Opinion on Chris Harrison's Future with the 'Bachelor' Franchise

"Something is getting lost here, and that is, I'm not on the show anymore," said the former Bachelorette

Rachel Lindsay has weighed in further on Chris Harrison's latest apology, which he offered during a Thursday appearance Good Morning America amid the Bachelor franchise's racism controversy.

During an interview with GMA's Michael Strahan, Harrison said he made a "mistake" in defending current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and issued Lindsay — and the Black community — an apology. (Kirkconnell had come under fire for resurfaced social media posts, which saw her dressed in Native American attire in costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. She has since apologized.)

Lindsay, who became the franchise's first Black lead on The Bachelorette in 2017, said Thursday on Extra that she accepts Harrison's apology. And now, she's emphasizing that she'd like to move on.

"I'm not going to give any opinion on what I think should happen with the franchise, what I think [Harrison's] role should be moving forward," she said during Friday's episode of her and Van Lathan's Higher Learning podcast. "I think something is getting lost here, and that is, I'm not on the show anymore. I went on Bachelor, Bachelorette, I found my husband. I moved on."

Rachel Lindsay
Rachel Lindsay. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Harrison, 49, sparked backlash for his remarks about Kirkconnell during an interview with Lindsay, 35, on Extra last month. During their conversation, he questioned the "lens" of 2021 compared to 2018 and saying people should have "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" in the wake of Kirkconnell's resurfaced photos.

He then apologized and announced that he would be "stepping aside" from the franchise for a period of time. In Harrison's absence, Emmanuel Acho has been tapped to host the upcoming After the Final Rose special later this month. The episode will mark the official conclusion to the current season starring Matt James, the franchise's first male Black lead.

On GMA, Harrison eyed a return to the franchise. "I plan to be back and I want to be back," he said, adding that he is "committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise."

For more on Chris Harrison's Good Morning America interview, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

During Friday's episode of Higher Learning, Lindsay called on those who are currently active in the franchise to speak out about how they think it should move forward.

"I think we need to be hearing from the people who are currently in the franchise, and for the future people who are coming on the show," she said. "What Chris did has a trickle-down effect for all people of color who are affiliated with the franchise and who will be in the future, assuming it continues."

"We need to be asking them how they feel, when they think about this, what their feelings are about how the franchise should be moving forward," she continued. "Everybody's making this Chris versus Rachel, instead of looking at what he said and the impact that it is having on people of color in this franchise and beyond — the people who watched that interview and were offended by it."

"It's not, 'What does Rachel think about what Chris said?' Chris said it," Lindsay said. "What he said was problematic, which we've all recognized, so how do the people feel who were impacted by that? And I think that's the question we need to be asking."

Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison. Eric McCandless/Getty Images

Lindsay, who has deactivated her Instagram account due to harassment, said she accepted Harrison's apology because she "needed to" for herself, but noted that she doesn't plan on addressing the reality franchise on her podcast again any time soon.

"We're not going to talk about this again, unless it's dealing with the franchise making a decision," she said. "I cannot. I can't. And I think Chris would agree."

Related Articles